School Classifications

In 2012, a statewide school accountability system was created. This system is designed to recognize outstanding performance and to provide support to low-achieving schools.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, I congratulate our 17 commended schools, which we have recognized not only for their excellent levels of student achievement but also for closing achievement gaps and attaining high participation rates on state assessments.” -Barbara S. Cottam, Chair of the Board of Education. 

2015 School Classifications

The 2015 school classifications have been released. Please see the following 2015 Classification Summary [PDF, 536KB].

For more detailed information please see the School & District Report Cards.

More About the Classifications

Commended Schools

Commended schools are the highest performing in the state. 

Defined by the following criteria:

Composite Index Score (CIS) greater than or equal to 77 and either:

  • Percent proficient points ≥ 27.2 or 
  • Subgroup gap points ≥ 27.2 

Focus Schools

Substandard achievement in reading and math, unacceptable achievement gaps, and little or no academic progress in improving student achievement or increasing graduation rates


  • The school, the district, and RIDE begin a two- to three-year intervention process similar to the process for Priority Schools though involving only seven strategies that respond to the diagnosis findings.
Defined by any of the following criteria:
  1. Subgroup gaps points < 12 
  2. Percent proficient points < 10
  3. School wide participation rate < 95% for two consecutive years

Priority Schools

The lowest achievement in reading and mathematics, intolerable gaps in student performance and demonstrate little or no progress in improving student outcomes


Defined by any of the following criteria:
  1. Among the 8 schools with the lowest total points (i.e. < 37.8)
  2. A current Tier I PLA school that is receiving SIG funds
  3. School wide participation rate < 95% for three or more consecutive years

NEW: RI Accountability Revisions for School Years 2015 and 2016 (PPT)

Rhode Island’s Request for ESEA Flexibility

The new state accountability system comes out of a request for “flexibility” regarding some of the provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA - also known as No Child Left Behind or NCLB).

Request for Renewal of Rhode Island ESEA Flexibility - PPT

The full submitted proposal is available below: